Stop suffering after every meal. Learn to eat a gluten-free diet and still enjoy the foods you love.
Gluten, a protein found in wheat, is everywhere—in all types of grain-based products (bread, pizza, bagels, pasta, cookies)
as well as processed foods (some salad dressings, ketchups, ice creams and flavorings).
Fortunately, with the right information, careful planning and a good shopping list, you can say goodbye to gluten without sacrificing flavor, price or variety.
You may love them but skip foods with wheat, rye, barley, kamut or spelt. That includes most flour, pasta, couscous, bread, bagels, cakes, cookies, crackers, cereal, beer, processed lunch meat, candy, soy sauce, stock and gravy cubes, as well as some tea and soy milks, nondairy creamer and ground spices.
Celebrate what you can have, including fruit, vegetables, meat, nuts, dairy products, corn tortillas, rice and rice products, buckwheat, quinoa, tomato sauce, dried beans and legumes, honey, jams and preserves, peanut butter, balsamic and red wine vinegars, and cooking oils.
Replace staples with those listed here. Check labels to be sure the product is truly gluten-free.
►Instead of wheat flour: Rice flour (brown or white), potato or tapioca starch, or corn, garbanzo, sorghum or fava flour
►Instead of pasta: Rice noodles or pasta made from corn or quinoa
►Instead of oats: Certified gluten-free oats (oats don’t have gluten, but they’re often processed in environments with gluten)
►Instead of granola: Homemade granola with oats, fruit, nuts, oil and syrup
►Instead of instant cereal: Quinoa, buckwheat, millet or rice
►Instead of bread: Gluten-free varieties
Don’t assume all gluten-free foods are healthful—many contain extra fat and other processed ingredients to improve flavor or texture, as well as refined grains such as white rice flour, which have less fiber. Read the nutrition facts to choose foods that don’t have added sugar and are low in saturated fat and sodium (5 percent or less) and high in fiber, calcium, iron, and vitamin A and C (20 percent or more).
Now that wheat is no longer an option, consider quinoa. Available at many grocery stores, it contains a good balance of essential
amino acids your body needs. Quinoa has a mild, nutty flavor and works well as a side dish and in salads, hot cereals and
Or try amaranth, another superstar. Cooked, its chewy texture and mildly sweet, earthy flavor make it a good substitute for cereal. It can be ground into flour, popped like popcorn, sprouted or toasted.
Keep a gluten-free flour blend on hand and pancakes, waffles, muffins, pies, cookies and even pizza can stay on your menu. Simply replace the wheat flours in a 1-to-1 ratio with gluten-free flour. Or make your own blend: Combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch and 1/3 cup tapioca starch and store in your refrigerator or freezer.
Cost per serving: $3.58
You can serve up a tasty slice of pizza without worry when you follow this recipe. Look for a gluten-free pizza dough mix, like Bob's Red Mill, at your usual grocery store—many stores are stocking their shelves with gluten-free products.
See recipe: Gluten-Free Pizza
Cost per serving: 57¢
If you feel like making brownies from scratch, rather than a gluten-free mix, follow this easy recipe that uses almond meal and brown rice flour. The rich, chocolate brownies bake up in muffin tins—just be sure to use gluten-free cooking spray before pouring the batter in.
See recipe: Gluten-Free Brownies